III

Narratives of African American Art and Identity

James V. Herring

Campus Landscape, 1922

Oil on canvas

9.5" x 7.5"


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Campus Landscape

Artist and educator James V. Herring was an extremely important figure in the development of both the academic and commercial aspects of African American art in the first part of the twentieth century. Herring founded the Howard University Art Department in 1922 and served as mentor to artists/art historians James A. Porter and David C. Driskell. In 1930, Herring organized the art gallery at Howard, the first in the United States to be directed and controlled by blacks. Along with Alonzo J. Aden, Herring opened the Barnett-Aden Gallery in 1943, one of the few institutions dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of African American art. The Barnett-Aden Collection went on to become one of the richest collections of African American art in the U. S.

As an artist, Herring was trained in the academic tradition. Campus Landscape of 1922 is a view of students near the reservoir at the Howard University campus. Herring's hazy figures congregating in a vibrant fall landscape recall the French Impressionists of the latter part of the nineteenth century.   A. L. C.

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